Azealia Banks – 1991 EP
Since making waves last December with her infectious (and filthy-mouthed) single “212,” Azealia Banks has energized the rap scene with house beats and blink-and-you-miss-it speed verses. Featuring two brand new tracks, this debut EP comes on the heels of a collaboration with Diplo and talk of working with Kanye — and all before Banks turns 21.
Future – Pluto
There’s just something about the dirty South, and up-and-coming rapper Future doesn’t want you to forget it. Expertly toeing lines of ridiculousness, the Georgia native teamed up with Drake, Snoop Dogg and R. Kelly (score!) for his debut. Hopefully it won’t be a let down, but either way, we can all at least turn to his many inspired tweets tagged #samedamntime for entertainment.
Horse Feathers – Cynic’s New Year
Fans of the past decade’s alternative folk explosion should be all over Cynic’s New Year, the fourth LP from this Oregon-based band. They’ve got fiddles, banjos, verse after verse of insidious musings and a love of Americana, channeled especially well through collaborations with other musicians in the Pacific Northwest.
Jason Mraz – Love is a Four Letter Word
With the gentle strumming of a ukulele, Jason Mraz does us all a favor by demonstrating exactly what is meant by “pop rock.” His fourth studio album promises more of the pleasant tunes that float somewhere in the Jack Johnson-y realm of beach music. And if we’re guessing correctly, it still cannot wait, and he is still yours.
Neon Trees – Picture Show
Even if you’re not sold on Neon Trees’ poppy, at times nostalgic dance tunes, it’s hard not to give props to a band whose lead singer covered Justin Bieber’s ubiquitous “Baby” while simultaneously rocking a mohawk. Picture Show is a follow-up to the Utah-based group’s 2010 debut and features a guest appearance from Kaskade, suggesting they’ve got plenty a groove left in store.